Tapping into sizable SME markets in the UK and Australia has been core to the early success of New-Zealand based, ASX-listed company 9 Spokes.
The company provides SMEs with a smart dashboard allowing users to connect their cloud-based financial and business apps to one dynamic interface, helping deliver a better overview of business performance.
9 Spokes has existing partnerships in place with leading app providers, such as Intuit QuickBooks Online, Expensify, SageOne, MYOB, MailChimp and Google Analytics. At a glance, business owners can quickly use the dashboard to gain insights into business development, accounting and marketing.
The dashboard is accessible from multiple devices and also suggests a selection of recommended apps tailored for the user’s industry.
9 Spokes is not holding back. The company has recently announced its plans to launch its platform in the US. With approximately 29 million SMEs the US market is highly attractive. 9 Spokes reports that the cloud market in the United States is now worth $55 billion, with 95% of all businesses using some form of cloud-based technology.
Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of 9 Spokes Mark Estall said: “We are really positive about the uptake of our SME-focussed technology.
“We have a dual-track approach to growth, targeting businesses via our own direct marketing, while also securing Channel Partnerships with large organisations such as Barclays Bank and Propel by Deloitte in the UK, and Suncorp in Australia.” Collectively they have approximately 2 million SME customers.
9 Spokes already receives minimum contracted recurring licence fees of $3 million per annum from its existing Channel Partners.
“Our services went live in late 2016 and we’re already seeing an acceleration in customer acquisitions, surpassing 1,000 small business users in February 2017.
“We don’t need to do additional coding to enter new markets and we have limited technical restrictions for expansion. This puts us in the relatively unique position of being able to deploy into the US market rapidly and at low incremental cost,” he said.
The US launch is not uncharted territory for 9 Spokes. The company’s entry into the UK market required only a small number of local staff and relatively limited capital expenditure. The Company’s direct launch will be followed by the roll out of future US channel partners, at least two of which are already in talks with the company.
9 Spokes has made significant progress with a range of new prospective channel partners. These include some of the largest banks in North America.
“Many entrepreneurs, myself included, are guilty at some stage of running their businesses on gut feel and relying on instinct.
9 Spokes is progressing business development in more than three countries and is confident on the potential for further channel deals over the next six months.
Within its channel relationships the company is targeting growth figures this year of up to 6 million SMEs. The channel model efficiently enables 9 Spokes to operate across a large number of very different markets.
These have a role to play, but for sound financial and management planning, more reliable metrics are needed.
Our goal at 9 Spokes is to help SMEs access these in a way that translates into good business decisions and our success at this will translate to positive investor returns,” Mr Estall said.